By the time the Christopher Klim discovered Eric Hoffer’s writing, only one of Hoffer's books remained in print, and the former bestseller and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner was all but forgotten.
“Like Hoffer’s discovery of Michel de Montaigne, I was moved upon a first reading of his work. Self-taught, deceivingly simply, and precisely poignant, he was clearly America’s second most important philosopher behind Benjamin Franklin.”
Klim sought out Hoffer’s longtime companion Lili Fabilli Osborne and began a decade-long friendship until her death. With her insight, the author restored all of Hoffer’s out-of-print titles to print, adding photos and commentary reflective of the time period for each book. Eventually, he gathered Hoffer’s newspaper articles into a single compendium, The Syndicated News Articles. However, for years, book sales for the Hoffer catalogue struggled. He had been a folk hero of sorts in the mid 20th century, but now seemed lost to time.
"Hoffer's poor book sales frustrated me. But I chaired an international literary prize that was growing in strength, and I thought to rename it to the Eric Hoffer Book Award. At first, the question we received most often was "Who is Eric Hoffer?" Many award registrants would address letters to "Mr. Hoffer," again not understanding who he was. Over time, we educated the public through the award and delivered 21st century recognition to Eric Hoffer. Book sales eventually followed."
Klim's efforts have led to Eric Hoffer's work being translated to new languages and a growing renaissance of his work around the world. In print and broadcast media, the author has spoken about the life and work of Eric Hoffer.
"It's a labor of love. I admired Hoffer's work, and I adored Lili, who was the love of his life. I'll always be proud to have served both."